This book deals very bravely with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. My daughter suffered with this for many years and, like Hope, she recovered, relapsed, recovered and is now coping with life a bit more normally, so I can relate to the subject.

Hope writes of her life and diagnosis and her mother also writes about her experiences. This illness affects everyone in the family as sufferers are secretive, ashamed and determined, and by the time everyone has cottoned on to what is happening, it is often too late.

Every anorexic has a different story. In her early teens, Hope was abused by a boyfriend and she also had a family member who was anorexic, but every person seems to have a different trigger.

It is painful to read of Hope’s daily struggles with food – the wrong bowl, too much cereal, too much milk – it all sounds a bit mad, but it is all very real.

Hope’s vision of anorexia as a controlling friend rings very true. I have heard my daughter say that she used to feel she had someone else in her head egging her on.

Help was there for Hope and for my daughter too. They are the lucky ones. Treatment of all mental health issues in the UK is patchy at best.

If you think you know someone with an eating disorder, please get help sooner rather than later to help all girls to stand tall. Well done, Hope! Keep on keeping on.

Dorothy Anderson 5/5

Stand Tall, Little Girl by Hope Virgo
Trigger Publishing 9781789561203 pbk Oct 2019